From “Black Collectivities: A Conference,” held May 3–4, 2013, at Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and the University of Chicago’s Arts Incubator. This article attends to the various loci that promote black collectivity. Often the instances of black collectivity it maps are physically grounded in a prime setting, such as “the corner” and “the block,” pointing to the possibility of new forms and formations that allow for conscious placing, burrowing, and settling. The work of Theaster Gates serves as a point of departure. The act of collecting can be interpreted as a deep structural expression in Gates’s Dorchester Projects and Black Cinema House, which involve various modes of collecting and collectivizing. Such activities may expose “soft collectivities,” which are informally construed, highly representational, and performative.

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